October Expert Advice on Fall Cleanup

Fall can be one of the busiest and most important times for your landscape. The more work and preparation done in the fall will account for more success in the spring.

Fall cleanup should be done as plants are either dying for the season or going into dormancy. 

All annuals and vegetables should be removed from their beds and disposed of to decrease the chances of insect and disease infestation the following year. Fall is the time to be adding organic matter to your gardens. Add compost and manure to regenerate your soils in time for spring planting.


Do not fertilize your plants with any type of fertilizer that will promote growth.

Lawns should only be fertilized with a winterizer, which will contain slow release fertilizers promoting early spring green-up. Any fertilizer applied to your ornamental plants should be high in phosphorus such as triple super phosphate to promote root growth rather than foliage growth.

As your perennials go into dormancy start cutting them down and dispose of the foliage.

Leave ornamental grasses for winter interest and cut those down in the spring. You may also have to leave your fall perennials as they may not be in dormancy before the snow flies. Shrub and tree pruning is best done in late fall through early spring. Yearly trimming should be done to promote healthy growth, but only trim off 1/3 of the total plant area.  Rejuvenation trimming, where you trim shrubs down to the ground to rejuvenate the plant should only be done every 5-6 years and can only be done when the plant is in complete dormancy (typically late November to early March).


As we’ve stressed before, fall is the perfect time to be planting. The warm soil and cool air temps provide a low-stress environment for transplanting and give plants time to achieve root growth. There is still time to take advantage of this, as planting can be done until the ground is frozen.  And remember, beautiful spring blooms such as tulips and daffodils are ONLY made possible by planting them in the fall months!

Come and see us this fall! We have great products year round to ensure your garden is a success!